Sparrow Hawk

Hello

Hope someone can give me some advice.   My local Sparrow hawk has become super bold and now actually flies into the hedge at the bottom of the garden and brings out at least one starling a day.

At this rate there won't be any left in a few weeks.   The poor little starlings suffer the most horrible death - they really do cry out!

I don't know how to stop/curb this onslaught.  I know its nature but it is v cruel to witness.   

Should I stop feeding the starlings?  I feel like I'm luring them to their deaths by feeding them.

Your advice would be most welcome.

  • Hi Lesley,   always distressing to see birds being predated but as you say, this is perfectly natural for the sparrowhawk to do as it is for it's own survival and they are magnificent birds in their own right.    Usually once they find an easy source of food they will keep returning.    Only thing I can suggest if it understandably upsetting you too much is removing your feeders to disperse the starlings for a while so they find an alternative source of food, maybe the natural foods that autumn has to offer and then the sparrowhawk will have to do the same and hunt prey elsewhere.     In time, as the colder winter approaches you can try reinstate your feeders to a different area of the garden and try feeding the garden birds and starlings again.    

    In the sparrowhawks defence take a LOOK HERE as it gives some interesting information on them.        

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thanks for your response Hazy,
    I did think that might be the only way. As much as I don't want to I will give it a try otherwise there will be no starlings left.
    Sparrowhawk has already been this morning and it's a very talented hunter - its picked off yet another poor little bird.
    However, Starlings are there own worst enemy - they are so chatty and noisy - but just love them! x
  • At least with autumn berries/seeds the starlings will have plenty to forage on in the natural countryside so they won't go hungry and at least they will be safer for a while which will give the Sparrowhawk time to find another hunting area other than your garden. In a couple of months when the weather turns colder you can put your feeders back up and then monitor what happens, hopefully the birds will be back and feeding again and the sparrowhawk will have found another area for prey. Good luck.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"